Rugby: Lancaster wants cool heads

Stuart Lancaster called for cool heads and clear thinking as England attempt to end a decade of autumn misery against world champions New Zealand on Saturday.

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The All Blacks are on a 20-Test unbeaten run and they will arrive at Twickenham with an air of invincibility that can leave some teams beaten before kick-off.

The last time New Zealand lost an autumn Test to a northern hemisphere side was to England in November 2002. The last time they lost to England was in June 2003.

But Lancaster insisted his young England side had enough self-belief not to be "hypnotised" by the All Black aura - and enough ability to cause a shock result at Twickenham.

England have been given a 17-point start by some bookmakers but they are determined to avenge the narrow defeats to Australia (20-14) and South Africa (16-15) over the last fortnight.

"There was huge disappointment in losing to Australia and South Africa but I still believe the journey we are on is the right one," Lancaster said.

"This is a young side who have pushed two southern hemisphere teams very close. We are hugely motivated to get that win this weekend.

"Our mindset going into the game we have a 'no fear' mentality and we want to make sure that we front up.

"You have to rely on creating your own self-belief. You respect the opposition but you can't become hypnotised by them."

And that includes the haka. For many of England's greenhorn side, Saturday will be the first occasion when they will have faced the full All Black haka.

"There's going to be 82,000 people rising to it and as an international coach I can think of nothing better than facing the All Blacks at Twickenham," Lancaster said.

"The players are looking forward to it. It's about keeping cool heads. We have got to keep our brains cool."

Once the pre-match psychology is dealt with, Lancaster wants his men to engage those cool brains and pressurise the All Blacks as France did in the World Cup final.

New Zealand scraped home to victory that day but that match is one of three that Lancaster has used to highlight how the All Blacks can be vulnerable.

Ireland pushed them to the brink in the second Test of their summer series and Australia held them to an 18-18 draw in Brisbane before this European tour.

"You don't go 20 games unbeaten without being special. You respect the All Blacks but you can't fear them," Lancaster said.

"On a consistent basis, their ability to manage the game - their exprience and leadership sets them apart from any other team in world rugby.

"But in the last 12-18 months when sides have gone at them they can struggle like any side. They are a very, very good side but as Australia showed recently they can be pressurised.

"Obviously, that's going to be our mindset going into the game - to impose ourselves and to put them under pressure.

"We want to play a high-tempo, fast paced game - but in the right areas of the field.

"Playing from outside your own 22 without considering kicking is probably suicide against the All Blacks because they will turn you over and kick points.

"There's no doubt you have to match them physically, but it's not blind physicality, where you go in headless.

"It's disciplined physicality at the breakdown, in defence and making clear decision when they have the ball.

"It's going to be a hugely physical challenge but we played against one of the world's strongest teams last week and I thought we came out on top."

"The time's coming where we have to start winning these games.

"New Zealand have an unparalleled record. We have to start changing that because we don't want to go another 10 years."



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